Book Review / Books / Literary Women

Halloween Reads: Hanover House Book Review

Happy Halloween, bookworms!

Now that October is officially Octover and we’re gearing up for a holly-jolly Christmas, I thought I’d share the book that has had me so engrossed this spooky season. Hanover House by Brenda Novak.

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for sending me an ebook copy!

Hanover House is a prequel novella to Her Darkest Nightmare, the first book in the Hanover House Chronicles, which will be released next year.

Psychiatrist Evelyn Talbot has dedicated her life to solving the mysteries of the psychopathic mind. Why do psychopaths act as they do? How do they come to be? Why don’t they feel any remorse for the suffering they cause? And are there better ways of spotting and stopping them?

After having been kidnapped, tortured and left for dead when she was just a teenager—by her high school boyfriend—she’s determined to understand how someone she trusted so much could turn on her. So she’s established a revolutionary new medical health center in the remote town of Hilltop, Alaska, where she studies the worst of the worst.

But not everyone in Hilltop is excited to have Hanover House and its many serial killers in the area. Alaskan State Trooper, Sergeant Amarok, is one of them. And yet he can’t help feeling bad about what Evelyn has been through. He’s even attracted to her. Which is partly why he worries.

He knows what could happen if only one little thing goes wrong…


If there’s an award for Best Prequel, then Hanover House should get it. It did exactly what it was meant to do and got me ridiculously excited for the series!

I’ve always been intrigued by serial killers and the psychology behind what they do, so Hanover House really appealed to me in that way. While we didn’t get to see much of Evelyn’s investigations, we get a few glimpses at the “worst of the worst” types she’ll hopefully be dealing with in the later novels.

It’s a really explicit novella which I personally didn’t mind, but I just wanted to warn others. It’s gory in the sense that there is a lot of vivid descriptions regarding murder and mentions of rape so be wary when reading if any of you find that triggering.

Evelyn’s ex-boyfriend is still out there killing women despite staying under the authorities’ radar for twenty years. He’s got a new face and new name, Andy Smith, and he’s fixated on getting close to Evelyn again and he almost succeeds if it weren’t for that meddling Amarok! All jokes aside, Jasper is such a sinister character. Brenda Novak has created such an excellent antagonist who made my skin crawl on several occasions. We get brief looks inside his twisted mind throughout the prequel especially when it comes to his obsession with Evelyn.

So when he re-enters Evelyn’s life for a second time and starts causing trouble, she begins to get paranoid which sends her straight into the arms of handsome Sergeant Amarok.

Now, don’t get wrong, I did enjoy the budding relationship between these two. Alas, I would have liked it even more if it wasn’t lust at first sight. With all the terrible things that have happened to Evelyn in her past what with being tortured and raped, she’s naturally going to be emotionally scarred. But within a couple days of meeting the attractive cop, she’s snogged him, fantasized about him and he’s teaching her how to talk dirty. I don’t know. I would’ve liked if they got to know each other a little better and there’d been more of a build-up. After all, didn’t they dislike each initially? And she hasn’t been with any other man since her horrific experience with Jasper?

There was so much story packed into the two hundred pages and I was so disappointed that it ended. Insta-lust aside, I was enthralled by Hanover House and I look forward to reading the rest of the series when it’s published next September.



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